BESG was established in 1983 by senior staff of the then University of Natal Department of Architecture and Allied Disciplines, as a support group that defended communities against eviction from informal settlements in urban areas, largely as a result of inter-political party violence. In the early 1990’s, BESG became a key player in shaping planning and housing policies from local to national level. Since 1995, BESG has been a leader in enabling poor communities to access land, basic services, housing and administrative justice.....
(From left to right) Muziwakhe Sithebe, Convenor of eNdumeni Civic Association, Advocate Mawande Mazibuko, BESG Executive Director Cameron Brisbane, Legal Resources Centre attorney Thabiso Mbhense, with some of the affected applicants, reflect on the residents’ victory outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
eNdumeni Civic Association, representing 294 residents who were approved beneficiaries of a housing project took the municipality to court after their houses were irregularly allocated to other people by officials and/or members of the ward committee. They obtained judgement against the municipality in February 2018 in the Pietermaritzburg High Court but, in a subsequent hearing, the municipality was found to be incompetent and the MEC for Human Settlements was joined as a respondent.
The case reverted to the High Court on 7 August, where Judge Ploos van Amstel found against the municipality for using delaying tactics to deny the residents the right to adequate housing.The Civic Association was represented by the Legal Resources Centre.BESG, which has been providing advice on how to navigate the housing subsidy scheme, will now be engaging with the Civic Association and affected residents to seek a solution to fast track access to housing for them.
Mkabayi Mthuli nominated for WBAF-UAMDC Africa Excellence Award
In June a Joint Venture between our trading company, BESG Development Services, and Swelihle Agricultural and Environmental Group released a Climate-Smart Toolkit in Human Settlement Planning and Design. For those in the profession who are familiar with the CSIR “Red Book”, this is a fully illustrated “Green” version that addresses the location and design of sustainable settlements in order to mitigate the impact of increasingly severe weather patterns associated with climate change.
BESG often receives urgent calls from citizens whose homes have been damaged or destroyed by natural disasters. We will soon be setting up a Distress Fund facility in order to finance the repair or replacement of these homes.
Should you wish to contribute to this fund please contact us and the relevant information will be sent to you.
Do you have a car?
Get a filling station to donate 10c to BESG for every litre you fill - It costs you nothing to participate !